It’s fair to say that service with Special Forces changes a person and that the process of profound change commences on the selection course. Reflecting on the selection course that I underwent more than a decade ago, I can see that it was a pivotal point in my life both personally and professionally.

I entered the Australian Army at age 23 on a scholarship to study medicine after a failed attempt at a career as a professional triathlete. I first became aware of Special Forces a year later through my brother, who had successfully completed selection for the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR). From the moment I got a glimpse at what that unit did and met some of the blokes involved, I was hooked and I had to be a part of it.

As it transpires, it would take me seven more years to be allowed to attempt SASR selection, and I would spend the five years subsequent to that serving with Australian Special Operations, including four tours of Afghanistan. I am not the same person now that I was when I stepped up for selection all those years ago. My service has changed me. I can see now that the process of change for me truly began on the SASR selection course, and the following are the two key lessons that I took away from those three grueling weeks.

Persistence is key